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  • Hiring: Pick For Future Needs, Not Past Glory

    This is a mistake because you can teach employees what you want them to know, you can give them the experience you want them to have, but you can’t change who they are on a fundamental level.

    My best employee of all time was nicknamed Shaq. While his genetic gifts would have never landed him a spot on the New Jersey Nets, he workedCourtesy: Philip Date/PhotoXpress Free Images for my company as a computer forensic examiner. When I hired him, Shaq was barely qualified to use a computer, let alone conduct detailed forensic examinations on hard drives that later had to stand up in court and pass the rigors of cross examination.

    So why did I take him on? I hired Shaq because during his interview he clearly demonstrated that he was intelligent, had a lot of energy and seemed to come out on the “glass half full” side of things during stressful situations. Because of these qualities, within three months of joining my company he was out in the field, conducting examinations on his own. Shaq had absorbed the training so fast that within a year of his hire he was testifying in court and handling our most complicated cases.

    When hiring new employees, most recruiters consider qualifications first – and last. They’re looking for someone with the best education, the most experience and the most impressive skills. This is a mistake because you can teach employees what you want them to know, you can give them the experience you want them to have, but you can’t change who they are on a fundamental level. Their attitude, values, willingness and work ethic are all ingrained in them.

    The most effective way to hire fantastic, loyal employees who will fit into your company culture and help you meet your goals is to hire them for their inherent abilities (that which can’t be taught), such as personality, learning style and core values. You do this by identifying behavior patterns during the interview process.

    I didn’t hire Shaq just because he exhibited the attributes I was looking for in an employee. I hired Shaq because during his interview he demonstrated that he had a pattern of making intelligent decisions, and was energetic and positive in his approach. People will behave as they have in the past. If you ask questions designed to identify the patterns, you can predict how prospective employees will behave in similar situations.

    Read Full Article in Wall Street Journal.com

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

    Filed Under: Career

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    About the Author: Management and Business for Emerging Leaders

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